Arthroscopic Repair of Small / Medium size Rotator cuff Tear.



      Post op

Day 1-3


  •      Sling for up to 4 weeks but can be weaned off sooner
  •      Low velocity closed chain exercises
  •      Active assisted - short lever pulleys, abduction with stick and external rotation with stick, internal rotation to waist
  •      Proprioception, scapula setting & axillary hygiene
  •      Neck, elbow, wrist & hand exercises
  •      No combined abduction & external rotation

3-6 Weeks

  •      Progress from active assisted to active exercises
  •      Functional muscle recruitment – side lying
  •      HBB within limits of pain

6-12 Weeks

  •      Active range of movement all ranges with light resistance
  •      Rotator cuff strengthening
  •      Begin combined abduction and external rotation

Week 12

  •      Push for full ROM and strength
  •      Return to normal activity


Week 6

     Active assisted movement at least 80% of normal, sling discarded

Week 12

     Full AROM, return to normal activity


Return to Functional Activities


Driving 4-6 weeks

Swimming Breaststroke - 6 weeks

Freestyle - 3 month

Golf 3 months

Contact Sport 3-5 months

Lifting 3 months +

Work Sedentary - 4-6 weeks

Manual - As guided by Surgeon


Courtesy - NC/ RC Guidelines for post-operative physiotherapy listed here should be used as reference points and are best used in conjunction with individualised post operative instructions and titrated appropriately as per patient progress. This guideline is designed and used by physiotherapists at the Wrightington Hospital and The Arm Clinic.

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